In case you didn’t know it, we in the Seattle area have been snowed in for a week. I was going to write about how Facebook kept me connected. I was keeping up with friends, enjoying videos from friends who were “stranded” in L.A. and had to drive up the coast to Malibu, commenting on the snow pictures and generally satisfying my social needs. I wasn’t really noticing that I wasn’t receiving any comments on my posts until I asked for help with a fish recipe. Nothing. No responses. Everyone else was getting comments. I was getting responses from my comments on other peoples postings. See how self-centered everyone is? Only care about their own postings. Not mine.
No one likes me.
They all ignore me.
A friend called me. She had no internet connection at her home. Another called later and she also was without internet. So that explained why these two close friends had not responded. I growled to one of my friends that I had been given recognition and no one commented. She said she had not seen the post.
I’m not sure how I discovered the problem after my days of isolation. Seems I had posted something only for family and I had not changed the setting. You can decide on Facebook who you want to see your posts but that setting remains until you change it. I had a setting for family, which in my case, is only about five people—three of whom are rarely on Facebook and never comment. I don’t even know how long I had this setting. No wonder no one responds. I had inadvertently isolated myself!
As I was relating this story I realized the real life lessons.
1. Is it real? Or is there information you don’t know?
There are several personal growth gurus who lecture on this. Are you making decisions based upon inadequate information? I was thinking no one cared about what I had to say because they hadn’t responded. I didn’t know that no one was seeing my posts. Or that some of my friends were without internet.
A friend of mine shared with me that she was hurt that she had not been included in a group. I pointed out that I had posted on Facebook, sent e mails and made an announcement at a meeting about the formation of the group. She did not remember any of these invitations and built a case in her mind how she had intentionally been excluded. Didn’t have all the facts.
2. Have you changed your “settings”?
I am chagrined that I somehow unintentionally changed my settings so no one was receiving my posts. Are there times we change our settings metaphorically? Do we become pre-occupied so that we don’t notice people trying to communicate with us? Do we translate someone’s body language or facial expression as not being interested in us when that person may also be pre-occupied, in pain or even, shy. I have poor vision and often squint. I found that some teachers or lecturers interpreted this as disagreeing with them or, worse yet, too stupid to understand. They didn’t bother to check and I didn’t know about my inadvertent “settings”. Hopefully we can improve our ability to send and receive messages.
Stop making assumptions and ask for clarification and above all: